Raheem Morgan, our fantastic chef manager from Torridon Primary School, beat off competition from ten finalists to win the coveted crown of LACA School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) 2023.
At the fourth attempt of entering the competition, Raheem’s winning dishes included an Asian crispy fishcake with edamame bean, miso puree, wasabi mayonnaise and crispy garnish; and for dessert, deconstructed lemon cheesecake with apple and basil gel, apple crisp, cherry compote and egg white meringue.
This cooking style was chosen to demonstrate how school food caterers can encourage children to try new flavours, while also championing nutrition through the inclusion of a range of different fruit and vegetables across his dishes.
This wasn’t Raheem’s first taste of success, after he successfully won the LACA Grab ‘n’ Go challenge at the 2022 SCOTY competition with his loaded Quorn savoury waffle – inspired by a traditional Jamaican fritter – while also winning Unit Chef of the Year, and the Education Award, at this year’s Contract Catering Awards.
Raheem is a shining example of the fantastic frontline teams that work in education catering. He credited his win to the support of the wider culinary team across Chartwells and Compass UK & Ireland, who have supported his growth and development over recent years.
In recognition of his amazing achievement, Raheem featured on ITV News London to talk about his win, the wider industry, and the upcoming rollout of universal school meals across London.
Raheem said of his win, “I want to thank my team at Torridon Primary School, and the chefs at Chartwells who have supported me on this journey and helped me to grow as a chef. I also want to thank LACA – I love everything they stand for and the work they are doing in the school catering sector is amazing and hugely important in changing the quality of school food as well as the perception.”